It’s 2017 and we’re discussing whether employer’s can require women to wear makeup and heels to work. Earlier this week in London, Parliament debated protection for British workers against enforced sexist dress codes. The House of Commons Women and Equalities committee raised the issue in response to a petition by receptionist Nicola Thorp. Two years ago, Thorp was fired from her temp agency, Portico, because she refused to wear heeled pumps to the office. She went public with her story in 2016, posting an online petition that quickly went viral. It garnered 152,000 signatures, compelling Parliament to formally debate the issue.
The same committee published a report in January that exposed sexist dress codes as commonplace in Britain. Their findings were based on interviews with hundreds of women who said they were required to wear heels to work or face termination. Lawmakers also found that many employers went even further, making outrageous demands that women dye their hair blonde, use makeup, and wear revealing outfits in the workplace. They determined that beyond temp agencies, the problem was endemic in the tourist, retail, and hospitality industries, among others.
There is a law in Britain—called the Equality Act—that makes these kind of practices illegal, but it imposes light penalties on its violators. As a consequence, the January report recommended that retributive laws be made tougher, stating: “We expect employers to act in accordance with the law, which is clear that dress codes enforced by employers must be reasonable and include equivalent requirements for both men and women.”
In light of International Women’s Day today, it shows how much further the Western world still has to go in order to reach a place in which gender discrimination is no longer an issue.END
prev link: https://crfashionbook.com/fashion/a9146251/nicola-thorp-british-dress-codes/
createdAt:Fri, 17 Mar 2017 14:19:47 +0000